(A/N: I'm getting a little disheartened since no one is reviewing. I
would love some reviews to let me know if I'm going down the right path
or if this story is just too crazy.)
Aspirat primo Fortuna labori – Fortune smiles upon our first effort (Virgil)
Continuity: Movieverse. Post-X2, years after. References to moments from comicverse canon. Movieverse allows for these liberties. I thank them for that.
Rating: Contains angst, off-color language, racial undertones, mild sexual references, violence. But then again, that's life.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to Syrinx for the spark of inspiration when, during a mundane moment – ironing my shirt for work – a line from one of her pieces, "Why am I always here?" flashed in my mind thus torturing me the entire ride in the subway while Bjork wailed in my ear. (ref: "Tangled")
And a reverent thank you to Toni Morrison for the poetic word and concept of "rememory". (ref: Beloved)
Dedication: To my parents. Born worlds apart, their time together too fleeting. I am still trying to define "meant to be".
Rememory, part one
The white moon postures against a canvas of varying degrees of cobalt, detail of topography barely discernable without moonlight.
He sat by himself admiring the water of the lake before him. Waters still, undisturbed, for once. A liquid mirror, reflecting Ororo's 'Bright Lady'. Logan smiles to himself at her concept. Like two moons before him, both full and round. One in the heavens, one on earth. Their resemblance to each other uncanny, yet as different as life and death. One tangible, the other a shadow, a memory.
He regards the paradox, winces slightly at the irony. It reminds him of his purpose here tonight.
He is waiting for her. He closes his eyes knowing she will come.
Logan is at peace, for once. For now, with eyes closed, he is not afraid. This place. It reminds him so much of the lake – "their lake" he dares to label. His and Ororo's. There he feels safe. His favorite spot on the estate, the lake besides the willow tree. There he had spent so many quiet moments away from the cacophony of students, the constant alarm of missions, the judgmental intrusions of others. There he talks about anything, everything, nothing. He enjoys her company. Watching clouds, connecting stars, staring at the insides of eyelids but not sleeping. All with her. With Ororo. Forever he will associate that lake with her.
The corners of his mouth momentarily downturns in thought. He misses his friend.
This place is not their lake. He has not shared Ororo's company in quite a while; at least it feels that way.
He exhales a long breath of regret. For so many years he had been too busy being chased by his demons. Too afraid to face his angels. Too busy losing, too afraid to gain. That must change one day.
"I remember this place," said in wonder, uttered wonderfully.
Logan's ear twitches and his stomach drops at the sound of spoken music. Her voice. A light, airy soprano sung song. His expected and wanted visitor. He gulps hard. How long has it been? Decades, he assumes. He can only assume.
His eyes open to find her sitting, hugging her knees, looking up at the sky, fascinated. Luminescent, as if she emits her own light. She is a distance from him, facing the waters. He does not see her face, just her hair, shade of moonlight, breeze blown -- he himself feels no air. His gaze softens at the sight of her. How long has it been? Decades, he estimates. He can only estimate.
"It is very beautiful out here, yes?" she says, directed at no one.
"Yes," he answers. He somehow finds his voice. He somehow does not rush upon her. He somehow doesn't grab her, to somehow not let go a second time. Somehow he will not lose her again.
"I wish I were here once more," she murmurs, softly, a tinge of remorse.
She startles Logan when her head turns and he sees her features. Sapphire blue eyes widen in curiosity. "Do you find peace here?"
He half smirks in thought and finally tears his eyes away from her. He breathes a deep breath and looks over the waters, the sky, the mountain looming in the distance, white capped. He is surrounded by whites and blues.
"Here," he begins while he returns his eyes to her, "it finds me."
She smiles serenely and turns back to the sky, satisfied with the answer. He smiles in return, amused by his own words. He is suddenly self-conscious. In her presence, he finds himself uncharacteristically poetic. He was glad he got it out without hopefully sounding too stupid.
"You deserve peace, my love," she spoke too casually, as if in passing.
He quickly sobers, his eyebrows gather, the endearment taking him off guard.
"Do you?" he asks quietly.
Her moonlight mane shifts as she lowers her head. She then stretches her arm behind her for support as she turns to face him again, her eyes reacquaints herself with his face.
"Logan, I never stopped."
He is finally back, back home. Home to her.
He drenched in sweat, road dust and exhaust, coating his five-day facial growth. He looks forward to hot water, cool sheets, warm body, soft. The only light in the space he races to enter is the light he let violates the dark: a bright widening slot, a reverse shadow of the opening door -- his silhouette seeks her out. He enters their room; right now it is only a room they share. One day he wants to give her more. White hair curtains the pillow as he sees his shadow trace the curve of her brown, naked back.
She sleeps in the nude. Always in the nude. God bless her.
He dares not get too close to dirty her yet he cannot resist reading her spine with his fingertips. Down her back, pushing down the covers, revealing her lower back, her hips. She has the sensitive nerve endings as if of a flower. Satin sheets, Egyptian cotton, -- only the softest. A sensualist. She can feel everything.
She twitches with a gentle start like she was robbed from a very, very happy dream. He wants the dream to continue. He quickly brings himself close to her careful not to jostle the mattress. Concerned not to alarm her to his arrival.
"It's me, it's me," he lightly grumbles into the nape of her neck. His engaged hand trails around to palm her stomach.
She inhales deeply through her nose and elongates as she stretches. She feels behind her for his head, finds his hair and grabs a comfortable handful. As she's exhaling she pulls him closer, rubbing his cheek to hers. She moans a semblance of his name. She is now covered with his filth; he decides he should bathe her.
She settles her head back on the pillow. Body still twisted, hand still planted firmly in his hair as she blinks back the sleep to refocus on his eyes. Grey, clear, always smiling when she looks into them.
"Mzungu…?" she croaks. The music of her voice still discernable.
"-Chisi, yes," he laughs into her cheek, always amused by her off-color pet name in her native Swahili for him. A private shared joke regarding her initial impression of him when they first met.
Her eyes clear and she rests them on his face. She smiles at the lines the dirt has made around his eyes. Reminds her so much of that first day. He grins in appreciation as he runs his gaze through each and every facial curve and bend he has already committed to memory. A slit of light avoids his shadow and shines on her eyes. They twinkle aquamarine when she's happy.
She states the obvious, loving to feel the deep vibrations against her chest when he speaks.
"Home?" Her eyes widen in excitement. They sparkle light aquamarine.
He slowly shakes his head in the negative as he focuses on her mouth. Her eyes furrow in concern and confusion.
He captures her lips with his own, a kiss pent up and practiced in his dreams for a week. He pulls back and she exhales in satisfaction. Breath of jasmine.
"NOW I am home."
She watches him in amusement as Logan looks down and smiles. She lays on her side perpendicular to him supported by her elbow, a little farther from the water, a little closer to him. She mingles her fingers together as he scratches his eyebrow in reflection.
Her smile fades and her eyes fall to the ground. "I'm sorry I couldn't stay."
He also sobers and looks up, searching past her hair to her eyes. "I am sorry, too."
White tresses dance a graceful anchored ballet about her face as they both watch her fingers idly play with grass. She looks up again to study him, his attention trained to her caress of blades.
"Why am I here?" spoken quietly, pensively. The impossible now happening confusing her.
Logan quickly meets her gaze and his eyes wrinkle in focus. It seemed like a loaded question to him. One he doesn't even want to start to answer. Now is his time. He wants to know more. More of what he has missed. More of what he has lost. Her being here now is not the issue. It's the why she was gone in the first place. Why is there no turning back. Why…
"Why aren't I with you?" he redirects with a hint of need.
Her eyes widen and she tilts her head. She seems to look deeper into him, a realization made.
"You remember… don't you?" she asks him with genuine surprise.
He blinks and nervously tries to put together an explanation.
"Yes," half-truth. "No," the other half. He exhales a deep releasing sigh. "I'm starting to," the truth.
He runs his hand through his hair in frustration at his coming confession, ashamed at its contents. "I wanted to forget for so long. And…" how to avoid the details but still make her understand, "I made it go away."
She ruminates over this for a moment, processing the possibility of the concept. Then she leans forward with a half smirk. "But she reminded you, didn't she?" Part pride, part irony.
"She-?" he was for a moment loss on the allusion.
From somewhere over the waters, deep gentle laughter, alto, mirthful, float towards him. The hairs at the back of Logan's neck start to activate. Oh, yeah. Her.
"She reminds me," he starts to answer glumly. He visualizes milk chocolate fingers run through long ivory hair, head thrown back by a deep throaty laugh, all done with controlled abandon. A beautiful, inspiring display few had the honor to see. A sight he saw more and more frequently as the bond between them became stronger. Her.
He forcefully blinks the vision away. "Yeah, I see that now," voice rich with remorse.
He felt it was starting to get too crowded and he continues to mentally shake away the intrusion. He didn't want to go there, not just yet. That part was complicated. One thing at a time. He just wants to remember first. He wanted to remember more about this woman before him. What he was like before -- with her. What it was that had escaped him. What he had that he let slip through his fingers.
She rises every morning with the sun. He wakes when he feels her absence from their bed. He finds her by the window watching the sunrise with her head poking through the closed heavy curtains, unwilling to blind him while he sleeps off another late night. He forces himself out of bed to join her by the window, holding her around the waist from behind, his own head poking through closed heavy curtains, just to be in her company.
At the kitchen table, he absentmindedly makes circles about the arch of her foot resting on his lap making her toes twitch. When the banter turns suggestive, he'll run his nails up the sole of that captured foot, feeling her muscles tense under his touch.
They enjoy showers together. She loves to bathe alone. She starts the water insanely hot, loving to feel the heat tingle her skin and the steam on her face. She stays in the tub until the water cools and she giggles as she splashes the coldness on her face.
He sits beside her during her baths with his head resting on the tub's edge. He asks her for stories she must speak in her people's language, catching few details, enjoying the melody of her voice, of her words.
She has filled the room with plants and flowers of every shape, size and color. She speaks, hums and sings to them as she dusts every leaf, mists every blossom and caresses every bud into opening. Wherever he goes, whenever he happens to see some mysterious, unique plant, he'll bring it home to her anticipating her face's glow in delight at his newest gift for her.
He enjoys how she always smells fresh. Her natural perfume eases him when he has to leave her for days at a time. She finds her plant blossoms dried and crushed when they fall from his shirt pockets when she does the laundry.
They take endless walks in the park, getting lost strolling with no premeditated direction. She notices every nest, every wildflower, every fungus they come across. He loves smelling the scent of trees through her hair.
He always insists on being between her and the roadside when walking on the sidewalk, unintentionally entertaining her when he dances from her right side and left side depending on which block they crossed.
She rarely raises her voice in anger. Instead, when she feels she has been slighted, she will conduct a war on your sanity. Revenge via prank. Lotion in the conditioner bottle. Chocolate sprinkles mixed in with coffee grinds. Soy milk instead of good old fashioned whole… insanity.
He enjoys taking her to exotic restaurants, finding endless amusement with how her face changes with each new dish. She turns a darker shade and her tongue pants with Mexican. Her mouth puckers and eyes widen with curry. She looks at him like he's crazy over sushi.
She finds fascination in their different hues of skin color. She finds her deep chocolate against his pale butter pecan more complementary than contrasting. She'll lay with him in bed with their arms together in the air commenting how beautiful the tones are. He'll test her theory by running his hands all over her skin, all over her body.
When in mixed company, especially in public places, he keeps her within eyeshot. When he is close enough to be able, he stays near her always in touch: hand on the knee, fingertips at the small of her back. Reassuring her, reassuring him.
She tolerates hockey and will sit with him in front of the television while he watches, with eyebrow raised and mouth creased in skepticism. She always interrupts his enjoyment of a great face-off by asking whether or not the players just standing there continually slamming their fists in one other's face is really part of the game. Every time.
His facial expression is often so rigid and unreadable. She loves knowing that he holds all his emotions and expressions in his smiles. She can tell between embarrassed, triumphant, aroused, happy, thoughtful… all dependent on the rarest twitch of facial muscles, the barest flash of teeth. All come into play, she notices, when he is with her.
On request, he does "the boxer dance." He can't recall when this started or why it cracks her up so much. But when she watches him dress, he must turn his back to her and shake his boxer-clad ass back and forth with varying speeds.
He does this knowing it will make her smile. He likes to make her smile.
Logan grins broadly at his past, for once. Memories long forgotten come rushing back to him, like scented water pouring out of an overflowing tub when the body shifts. His eyes fall on her and he finds her with the same euphoric glow he carries. She lays on her back parallel to him, feet toward the water, head by his lotus bent knees. As the memories come, she comes, closer, closer still.
"Are they difficult?" she asks lightly as she turns to look up at him. He blinks and shakes his head slightly, not catching the reference. His head tilts with a questioning smirk.
"The rememories?" she explains. "Are they difficult?"
He smiles and chuckles at her constant wrestling with the English language. He feels so easy with her. Talking with her again is like a favorite easy chair after a long harrowing journey.
"No," he responds, still warm from the memory of crushed blossoms and awkward giggles over curry. His look then sobers into a frown. He has missed so much. How much as he lost all these years? A familiar frustrated ache begins to gather at his temples.
"Yes," he corrects himself gruffly. He has been feeling constantly conflicted lately.
She gives him a sympathetic half smile then returns to looking aimlessly at the sky.
"I, myself, remember," she starts matter-of-factly, "and they, the rememories, they are good." She turns her head to look up at him again. "I always smile when I think of you," and does so brilliantly.
He allows the corners of his mouth to turn up slightly as he regards her statement.
"How was I like then?" he asks softly, leaning down towards her. It was important for him to know.
She crosses her arms, looks to the skies and breathes deep through her nose as she gathers her thoughts.
"You smiled more," she answers, then with a shrug, "you did when you were with me." After a pause, she rolls over to her stomach and settles her head in her elbow-supported hand. Her toes wiggle behind her as her eyes take on a mischievous blue sparkle.
"I watch you now," she says covertly, like anyone else could hear. "You are starting to smile again. This is good," with a wide, knowing grin.
He bypasses the present tense reference not allowing her to change the subject.
"Did I make you happy?" he persists, ever uncharacteristically softly.
She lets out a reflective giggle as she lays her head down on her folded forearms and smiles at him.
He blows out his mouth as he runs his hand over his face.
"Okay…" he begins, eyes roam the ceiling in thought. "So… 'jahm-bow.'"
"Yes, jambo," she smiles as her face hovers over his supported by her bent arm.
"Hello," he states to confirm.
"Nidiyo," she agreed.
"Hah-bar-ree?" his face contorts in question.
"NiDIyo!" in delight, thrilled in his progress. "Also for 'hello' or 'how are you'."
"And, uh…" okay, slowly now, get it right… "nin-nah-mim-bah."
She squeals in surprise, barely containing her furious giggles with her hand over her mouth.
As he found amusement and endearment in her pronunciation of his language, she found the same in his of hers. With legs in various combinations of entwinement, they would lie in bed playing tongues, speaking tongues.
"What is it?" he demands with laughter in his voice. His eyes sparkle as he watches her demonic possession by giggles.
She finally catches her breath and composure. She takes her free hand and plops it playfully on his chest.
"So you are with child, Logan?" she teasingly confirms with raised eyebrows.
"That's what I said?" a wide smirk spreading over his face. Yeah, that IS funny.
She slowly nods as her fingers busy themselves with his chest hair. His grey eyes runs over her face settling on her blue eyes. He imagines the beautiful daughters this woman can create. They will make their future husbands insanely lucky men.
She tugs on the hair caught in her fingers, making him yelp in surprise. Message received. He lets out another frustrated breath while he thinks of more practical phrases for him to learn in Swahili.
"How do you say…"
"Hapana!" she interrupts firmly, determined for him to learn properly. She pronounces slowly and restarts the question for him, "Unasemaje kwa…"
"Oo-nah-say-mah-je-kwa… 'I want a beer'?"
"What!" she gets out with another set of laughs. He squints his eyes in mock seriousness, his lips smirk. She throws her hand up, "Goddess!"
She bunches her lips up to one side of her mouth in thought. "You like it cold, yes?"
"Nidiyo," he nods. He starts to finger the hollow at the base of her throat.
She ignores his intended distraction. "Uh… Tafadhali nataka bia baridi."
His hand drops. No playtime now. "Toffa-dolly hot-kah-," he starts quickly.
"Polepole," and then did as she instructed, slowly. "Tafadhali… nataka… bia… baridi."
He repeats just as slowly, enunciating each syllable. "Tah-feh-dah-lee nah-ta-kah bee-ya… uh… bar-rah-dee."
The mattress suddenly quakes with her laughter "No!" she shrieks. "NO-no-no-no-no-no-no!" she trails off as her face collapses unto his chest, shaking back in forth in amusement.
"What? What did I say?" he says in exasperation, tossing his hand to the ceiling.
"You just-" she barely got out between breaths. She lifts her face, "it was just WRONG!" she merrily spat out. She is overcome by her melodic laughter, suddenly violated by a fierce "snort". Her hand shoots up to cover her mouth again and she collapses backward onto the pillow lost in her surprised, again giggle-ridden, shock.
He just lies there watching her in amused fascination. He marvels to himself how such an ordinary, albeit unattractive, sound come from this beautiful and carefree woman. And why is this woman with him? And why does he question his happiness with just-this-one woman? And when will she finally stop giggling at him?
With heavy controlled pants, she composes herself. She turns to look at him with an exhausted look still filled with pleasure.
"Eh," she throws her hand up in exaggerated resignation. "At least you stopped asking for curse words."
His eyes quickly roam the ceiling again as he tries to remember that name she keeps calling him.
"Mzungu chisi," he summons slowly with a widening grin.
Another light chuckle from her as raises herself to again settle above his head. "Yes, you are a 'crazy white man'," she purrs into his cheek. He laughs. He wonders to himself why does he let her get away with that. She then brushes his lips with hers, reminding him why and he growls in answer with a playful sneer.
He flips them both, suddenly shifting their arrangement in the bed so he's now on top of her -- the unexpected movement forcing a surprised screech from her. He is suddenly warm with passion from the sound she emitted. He likes the fact that she's a screamer.
He positions his lower body between her legs and easily cradles her head in his hands with his arms beneath her shoulder blades. She moans in delight at the ease their bodies conform to this familiar position. His weight so comfortable for her to bear. He begins to nibble on the area right behind her ear and she smiles broadly, loving being manipulated by him so expertly.
"How do you say 'please'?" he rumbles softly, punctuated by forward movement with his groin.
"Ta-FA-DHA-li," she gasps, reacting to his thrust.
He gently rubs the side of her nose with his.
"Are you happy?" he breathes into her mouth.
She cruelly pauses, forcing him to look at her squarely, eyebrow arched, in question.
"Nimefuhari…" she confirms tenderly as she smiles. "Sana," she emphasizes with an eyebrow jump.
"Mmm…" He half-smirks at her precociousness. His grey eyes lock on to her blues.
"Nakupenda." Her hand reaches above him and she runs her fingers along his hairline, her blue eyes monitoring its progress.
"Nakupenda wewe," she whispers earnestly. She then looks back at his greys and smiles.
"Nakupenda wewe, Darlin'," spoken in resolute seriousness as he leans forward to kiss her. She captures his lower lip between her teeth and gently bites. He reacts with a passionate growl and deepens the kiss. It was already past the point of no return when she whimpered "please." His hips start to move over her with more focus and intent.
"How do you say 'beautiful'?" he groans, soon about to re-prioritize his ability to speak.
Breath of jasmine. His lips hover open over hers to breathe it in. With the faintest of touches, he feels her lips curve and circle to form the vowel. She exhales softly to sound it out. He envisions the roll of her tongue while drinking in the vibrations of the deliciously repetitive consonants…
"You were good to me," she whispers lightly, still beaming from the moment.
"Just not good enough," he roughly states, in an accusing way.
She looks at him startled for a moment then sucks her teeth at his unappreciated retort. Her eyes furrow in frustration.
"You were always off…" she begins as her open hand makes its slow passage from her left to her right and her eyes peruse the skies as she mentally recounts and lists.
Her hand drops as she resigns herself to not knowing where to begin and she heaves a weary sigh to an old, endless, repetitive argument only she remembers.
"You were OFF," she says with annoyed finality.
"I think we should go back."
"Back where?" he answers vacantly.
"Back home. Let's go back."
He looks up from his boots at her incredulous. She measures his reaction and continues further, very carefully.
"You were-" she starts then decides to change direction. "WE were happy there."
"You're not happy here with me?" he asks sitting up. Where is she going with this?
"I am very happy with you," she replies quickly with a grin. "But… you are not here. You are gone all the time." She pauses to gauge again.
He groans and runs his hand over his hair. He knew this was coming.
"Where is it that you go, Logan?" she continues, meeting his weary look. "Take me with you."
"No. No you can't come with me," shaking his head vigorously. He bents over again and busies himself with his boots, not wanting this to proceed further. She waits patiently for him to finish, she does want this to proceed, finally. When he completes his double knot he finds her still sitting on the edge of the bed, looking at him, eyebrow raised. He sighs inwardly. He sees his usual evasions will not satisfy her this time.
He leans forward and speaks slowly, hoping just his words will make her understand and this conversation would blessedly end. "It's not safe… these things I do." He gives her a firm look, "you just have to understand."
"I have to understand?" now its her turn to look at him disbelief. "Help me understand. I did not leave my friends and family and everything I know for this."
"You just don't get it," he quickly dismisses as he rises off the chair.
She watches him go for his bag; amazed he would even put her off like that.
"Help me!" she says, with her voice uncharacteristically forceful. He stops at her shout, unaccustomed to such an outburst from her.
"Listen, this is the way things are. At least for now," he quickly explains.
"Until when?" she retorts just as quickly, folding her arms and settling into her hip.
He is finding it difficult to maintain a respectful tone with her as he gestures with both hands open, trying to emphasize his point. "This is who I am," he says with finality. "If you love me-"
Her head snaps back at his logic. "If I love you, I should understand? So my not understanding this and not feeling good about your leaving me for days, weeks at a time is me not loving you?" No, that was not his point he says to himself as he goes to hold his forehead in his hand. His feet start moving backward under their own accord as she continues, not easing up for one moment. "If you loved me YOU would try to understand. Have you done that? Tried to understand me? What I want?"
His back hits the wall and his throws his hands up in an exhausted plea. What she wants. What has he been doing all this time?
"What DO ya want, Darlin'?"
"What!" Was he not in the room just now? "I want us to be together. If it's here or at home, I don't care. Just-" She balls her fists by her head and her whole face seems to tighten in frustration. Even she's starting to get tired of hearing her voice right now. She takes a deep breath to gather focus again. "What's going on, Logan? You know me, I'll understand anything!"
He really doubts that he comments to himself as his back slides down the wall and he settles into a squat, head resting on hands, elbows propped on knees. He feels he has to hold his cranium together, the headache warning an explosion he doesn't want to have happen.
His silent non-response to her question infuriates her further but she keeps it in. She knows she has to approach him carefully. She stoops to squat in front of him to speak to him at his level. She leans in towards him and proceeds at a more civil tone, her irritation still apparent.
"Why did you bring me here to begin with? Why did you take me from my family?"
Anger starts to tighten at his stomach. He did not "take" anyone, and the implication offends him. Like he was some caveman who bopped her over the head and slung her over his shoulder.
"You LEFT with me," he grunts through gritted teeth.
"To go with YOU," she responds with a louder tone than intended, pointing her finger.
"Please," he groans again, his arms falling away from his head. Just STOP this already. Why must she make it so difficult to protect her? "I don't want you to get hurt," he winces at his voice being more whine than a statement.
Her face wrinkles with elevating ire. "You're not hurting me?" She pauses for his recognition. He gives her none, just an exasperated sneer. "No, YOU don't get it," she throws back at him.
She gets up and starts to pace about the room. Her face feels warm. She is constantly running her fingers through her hair in frustrated thought. He watches her, regarding how beautiful she is when she's angry. Absolutely the last thought he should share with her at this time. She stops and throws up her hands in resignation. They fall and hit her jean-covered thighs.
She breathes a deep settling breath, her voice coming calmer. A decision made.
"Maybe I should go off for a couple of days," she says over her shoulder to him.
His head snaps up at her and he feels his body hair begin to stand.
"You are going nowhere," he states firmly in a tone he never uses with her as he rises soundlessly.
Her head cocks back in reflexive defiance. "You go where you please, I go where I please," and she starts to make her way to the closet to gather her things.
His speed takes her off guard when he suddenly appears in her path. "You are going nowhere," he avows again, moving towards her making her step backwards until she meets the wall. "You belong here, with me," his face unreadable, his tone unmistakable.
Unaccustomed to conflict, she compels herself to lift her chin to him to look him dead in the eye. She finds grey has darkened to almost black. She refuses to lay down on this, his physical size aside. "And where do I belong when you are not here with me?" she whispers unflinchingly.
Her boldness insults him. She knows he cannot and will not hurt her. His jaws grind as he steps back with clenched fists, trying to contain himself. "I did not bring you all this way for you to leave me!"
"Why did you bring me then?"
He looks back her trying to find a safe strategy. She's like no other opponent he ever had to face before. He can't approach her like he does the others. He can't go after her like the Wolverine usually would. He knows her motivations are not to harm him but to help. She loves him. And he loves her more. But certain things can't be changed about him. She has to understand that. He has to try to make her see without showing her.
In a move to contain her, he reaches forward and captures her face with his hands, more for his sake than for hers. He wants to stop the questions. Stop the accusations. Stop her pain and his inability to help her.
She tries to back up with his movement, not allowing him to circumvent the issues on hand with their shared, familiar physical passion for each other. She will not be moved.
She steps out of his cradling of her cheeks and swats his hands away, unintentionally hitting him about the chest in aggravation.
"Niliku-DHANI dhahabu KUM-be a-DHABU!" she mumbles to herself in irritation.
"Whoa, whoa! What in the hell does THAT mean?" The phrase didn't sound pleasant and he lifts his arms in confusion.
"Never mind, Logan! Just- if you are going to leave – again - then I'm leaving too!" and she begins to walk away from him a second time.
His breath leaves him. He feels his pulse pound in his throat. It's all slipping away now. A familiar growl emanates from deep inside of him, his claws itch at his knuckles as his defenses instinctively engage. "Please…" he barely utters through his strained voice. He feels it's his final warning.
He swiftly grabs her by both the shoulders to gain control of her movements. He swings her around to face him and inadvertently slams her back against the wall harder than he ever would have intended if he were in his right wits. A startled, forced "oof" comes out of her as she hits the wall.
"DON'T DO THIS!" he roars. She looks at him with wide eyes and she wonders if she may have gone too far with him. He sees the fear in her and it pulls the man who loves her back.
"Don't, he repeats between gritted teeth. "I love you, don't do this."
They stare at each other, both panting for air. They both could lose everything right now. The weight of the impending finality settles between them.
He whispers one-word pleas to her as he rests his forehead on top of hers. Her eyes roll to the back of her head at the touch of his skin and the feel of his breath on her. Her angry breathing slows and then hitches to stifled sobs. Instead of tears, she weeps her feelings, her loneliness, her worry. Past all anger and frustration, she wants him safe and happy with her.
"We can't keep going through this, Logan," she whispers to the space between them. "I can't keep waiting." He lessens the grip he had on her shoulders as her forehead slips to rest on his chest. His heart beats a familiar staccato rhythm, reminding her of her country, calling her home.
"You're killing me inside," her tears are too imminent. She swallows the taste of salt. "Every time you go, I DIE." He reaches around her and covers her shoulders with his arms, holding her like he'll never let go, rocking her back and forth.
Her hands fist at the shirt cloth on his outer shoulders. "How do I know you're coming back?" she tugs at the shirt emphasizing each question. "How do I know you aren't dead somewhere? And who will let me know?" Her voice emotionally cracks at the notion, her legs give out from underneath her at the thought. He was already trying to hold the weight for the both of them. They both slowly collapse to the floor together.
"'Re, please…" he tries to quiet her, her words breaking him up inside. He settles her in his arms, cradling her with her head on his chest, stroking her hair.
"A week here. Five weeks that other time…" she continues unabated. She pulls on his sleeve with her tension. She tugs harder and harder. He could almost feel it give.
He grabs her hand with that of the pulled arm and lifts her fingers to his mouth. "Please stop it," he whispers into her index and middle while using them to trace along his lower lip. "I can't lose you," he pulls them further and places her middle finger between his teeth. Very… gentle… pressure. She exhales in emotion. She can't lose him either. "I need you," he murmurs, barely audible against her palm.
She slides her palm from his mouth and runs it along the side of his face. "I need YOU, Logan." She turns his head so she could look at him. She sees his emotion, his weariness. She sees he doesn't want to go either. Why can she not make him stay then? "Stay home," she says gentler. "Stay here. Please don't go." She reaches further up his head and fists his wonderfully soft hair. She pulls him closer, rubbing her cheek with his. "If you love me, if you love us, don't do this." She feels his body tense up and his other arm reaches around her back into a full hug again. She follows his suit and positions herself on her knees to hug his head. "I… am… begging… you."
She feels him trembling beneath her, a sensation she has never experienced. She is slightly alarmed, not knowing the source of his internal struggle. "Please…" she hears him utter weakly. He sounds like a boy, lost, abandoned. She instinctively kisses him on his temple, trying to quiet the turmoil. "Don't leave me alone," he continues as he fists the back of her shirt. It almost hurts her since he also captures her skin but she does not let on as her kisses trail down his face. He raises his face meets hers and she finds his eyes light grey, bloodshot, liquid in pent up emotion. He whispers another plea into her lips. "I can't be alone again."
She is sorry for yelling at him. He is sorry for handling her. She whispers affirmations in his ear where her voice offended him. He moans apologies against her skin where he gripped her too firmly. She kisses his hands in forgiveness. He kisses her breasts in repentance. She runs her fingers through his scalp to release his tensions. He runs his teeth down her throat to lessen the pain. She nips at his nipples in playful punishment. He sips at the back of her knee in delicious torture. She grips his shoulders to hold him closer. He palms her thigh to be closer still. She smiles when his passionate gaze meets hers. He smiles when she cannot gaze at him any further. She runs her fingernails down his shoulder to show him the pleasure of torment. He pulls her hair firmly against her scalp to show her the freedom of compliance. She cries his name to remind him. He roars her name to remind the world. They rest in each other's arms. Any more movement superfluous.
She reaches over to his side of the bed with her arm to find just sheets, just blossoms on his pillow. She pushes up from her face down position in alarm. No, please do not be gone. She starts to arise from the bed to search for him and feels a weight on her side of the mattress. Spinning around she finds him sitting by her, watching her sleep. She starts to smile and then notices he is fully dressed, boots tied, jacket on with his bag at his feet. Her breath hitches as she shakes her head back and forth at him with sadness and pleading in her eyes. She collapses back onto the bed, face first into her pillow, trying to contain her forthcoming sobs.
He runs his palm up her back to her hair to stroke it gently. As her back starts to shake with her stagnant unproductive emotion, he leans over her and turns her onto her back. Her hands cover her face, her head still shaking her head "no". She is unwilling to face his leaving. He leans his face over hers trying to move her hands to no avail.
"I will be coming back," he whispers gently to the back of her hands. "I just have to do this… thing. I can't get out of it." He pauses for any response from her. She doesn't give him the satisfaction. He grips her wrists and lowers her hands to her chest. She turns away from him, holding back the tears, mouth grimacing in pain. Breathing steady.
"I've made promises to people. These are dangerous people," he continues to explain as he tries to move to within her line of sight to get her attention. She avoids him by closing her eyes to him. With still no reply from her, he places his head on her chest gently and places her hands on top of his hair. She does not grip it she usually would. He wants her affection. She offers him none.
"One day this will stop, just right now I can't," he breathes into her breast, the pain in his voice so evident. Her frown deepens at the sound. She looks at the top of his head rising and falling with her breathing. This man is her joy. This man is her torment.
He feels the change of her gaze and he lifts his head in hopes of a reaction from her. She turns her head away from him again in the opposite direction, biting on her lower lip. He quickly captures her head in his arms to prevent further movement. She shuts her eyes ever firmly; she can taste blood from her lip.
"Promise me you're going to be here when I return," in desperate frustration. Her whole body seems to clench underneath him. "I need to know you will be here."
He runs his fingers through her scalp and tenderly grabs two handfuls of silken ivory hair. He faintly rubs his lips against her cheek to her ear. His voice breaks as he asserts one fact he can confirm for her tonight.
"I will DIE out there if I don't know."
Her breathing hitches as she pants for more air releasing all the emotion she was holding back. Not fair. Not fair. He can't do this to her. Not fair. As much as she does not want him to leave, she wants him to come back, to live. Why put the onus of his life on her? If she had so much power over him, he would not go.
"Promise me," he persists as he pulls back to search her eyes once again.
He sees the pain he has caused her, but she doesn't understand. And she must never know what type of man he is when he leaves her side. The violence, the death, the apathy. She does not know it's the music of her laughter and the breath of jasmine that keeps him from completely losing it out there. How the others spend their downtime with cheap booze and cheaper women, bar fights and alley brawls just to tide them over until the next mission, the next near fatal hurrah, their next crime against borderline morality all under orders. He needs to know he has more. He must know he hasn't lost all semblance of what humanity he has left.
He must know angels do exist. He needs to know if angels can love demons.
A tear runs out the far corner of her eye creating a trail that leads to the entrance of her ear. She exhales a settling breath as she finally turns to regards his face. Those precious lips, his endearingly unruly hair, his deceptively soft ever-present stubble, his beautiful grey eyes now creased in pleading. How she wishes she could look into those eyes forever.
She knows she will regret her next words forever.
in medias res (in the middle of things)